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Sociology of Sport and Social Theory eBook

Sociology of Sport and Social Theory eBook

$57.00 USD

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    Sociology of Sport and Social Theory is also available as an e-book. The e-book is available at a reduced price and allows readers to highlight and take notes throughout the text. When purchased through the Human Kinetics site, access to the e-book is immediately granted when the order is received.

    Sociology of Sport and Social Theory presents current research perspectives from major sport scholars and leading sociologists regarding issues germane to the sociology of sport. Each chapter of this resource explains historical and contemporary social theories and applies these theories to current topics in sport, such as performance-enhancing drugs, gender, race and identity issues, and the role of religion in sport.

    Sociology of Sport and Social Theory introduces readers to the historical and theoretical underpinnings of social theory, how sport studies have incorporated or diverged from these theories, and how the application of various sociological lenses to sport contexts may converge for future research. Merging the fields of sport studies and sociology, the text provides readers with

    • a fresh view on how prominent social issues may be applied to exciting issues in sport;
    • an opportunity to analyze engaging topics in sport, including Tiger Woods’ dominance, the costs of building stadiums, and NCAA institutional logic; and
    • an accessible presentation of seemingly complex theories from scholars with backgrounds in sociology and sport studies.
    Structured in four parts, this text expands discussion beyond theoretical paradigms typically employed by sport sociologists to consider traditional theories (conflict theory and structural functionalism) and contemporary sociological theories (feminist theory, social capital theory, and relational theory) and their application in sport contexts. Each chapter begins with a theory overview and concludes with suggestions for future research and an annotated list of additional resources.

    In part I of the text, readers will encounter a Weberian analysis of sport, learn how Mills’ theory of the sociological imagination provides a lens through which an athlete-author can analyze athletic events, and read a discussion of Elias’ figurational theory as applied to issues of hooliganism in soccer. Mid-level sociological theories, which provide a moderate convergence of theory and empirical research, are the focus in part II of the text. Chapters in part III address sport-related issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and social class using the contemporary sociological views of feminist theory, social reproduction theory, hegemonic masculinity theory, and structuration theory. Part IV considers issues of power, personality, citizenship, and dominance in sport.

    Sociology of Sport and Social Theory addresses a range of topics at the forefront of both scholarly and public discourse and provides readers the opportunity to consider these issues in light of traditional and contemporary sociological theories. With its broad range of perspectives and analyses, Sociology of Sport and Social Theory illustrates for students, sport scholars, and social scientists how sociological theory can provide a suitable framework for understanding patterns that exist in the world of sport.


    A reference for sport sociologists, general sociologists or theorists with an interest in sport, and scholars in sport studies. Also for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students needing a text that relates sport with sociological theory.

    Table of Contents

    Part I. Great Theorists

    Chapter 1. Toward a Sport Ethic: Science, Politics, and Weber's Sociology
    Robert Beamish, PhD
    Four Pure Types of Action
    Science and Ethics: The Limits of Goal-Rational Action
    The Politics of Ethical Conduct in Sport
    Suggested Research
    Additional Sources

    Chapter 2. Civilizing Sports: Figurational Sociology and the Sociology of Sport
    Eric Dunning, PhD
    The Figurational Sociology of Sport and Its Critics
    Criticizing and Testing Elias
    The ‘Civilizing’ of Modern Sports
    Soccer Hooliganism as an English and World Problem
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 3. Beyond the Sociological Imagination: Doing Auto-ethnography to Explore Intersections of Biography and History
    Nancy Spencer, PhD
    Sociological Imagination
    Applying the Sociological Imagination to Research
    Applying Critical Sociological Imagination to My Studies
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Part II. Research Guided by Mid-Level Sociological Theories

    Chapter 4. The Sociology of Science: Sport, Training, and the Use of Performance-Enhancing Substances
    Ian Ritchie, PhD
    Theories in the Sociology of Science
    Sport and the Science of Training: The Conservation of Energy and Beyond
    Understanding the Use of Performance-Enhancing Substances
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 5. Political Economy: Sport and Urban Development
    Kimberly S. Schimmel, PhD
    Urban Political Economy and Urban Regime Theory
    Sport Development and Urban Development in Historical Perspective
    Sport, Urban Regime, and Urban Development in Indianapolis
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 6. Institutional Logics Theory: Examining Big-Time College Sport
    Richard M. Southall, EdD, and Mark S. Nagel, EdD
    Theory of Institutional Logics
    Case Study: 2007 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Broadcasts
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 7. Playing for Whom? Sport, Religion, and the Double-Movement of Secularization in America
    David Yamane, PhD, Charles E. Mellies, BA, and Teresa Blake, BA
    The Double Movement of Secularization
    Societal-Level Secularization: The Differentiation of Sport from Religion
    Sport as Civil Religion?
    Organizational Innovation Connecting Religion and Sport
    Religion and Spirituality at the Individual Level
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Part III. Theories of Inequality

    Chapter 8. Feminist Theory and the Study of Sport: An Illustration from Title IX
    Angela J. Hattery, PhD
    The First Wave
    Modern Feminist Theory:The Second Wave
    Post-Modern Feminism: The Third Wave
    Title IX and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Sport
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 9. Social and Cultural Capital: Race, School Attachment, and the Role of High School Sports
    Rhonda F. Levine, PhD
    Theoretical Frameworks
    Sport Participation, Academic Achievement and School Attachment
    Role of Coaches
    Suggested Research Additional Resources

    Chapter 10. Race, Class, and Gender Theory: Violence Against Women in the Institution of Sport
    Earl Smith, PhD, and Benny Cooper, BA
    The Issue
    Methods and Data
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 11. Masculinities and the Sociology of Sport: Issues and Ironies in the 21st Century
    Bryan E. Denham, PhD
    Hegemonic Masculinity
    Constructions of Masculinity in Professional Football
    Constructions of Masculinity in Hardcore Bodybuilding
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 12. Getting Girls in the Game: Negotiations of Structure and Agency in a Girls’ Recreational Sport Program
    Cheryl Cooky, PhD
    Overview of Theories of Structuration
    Girls in the Game
    Cultural Analysis: Discursive Constructions of Sport and the "At-Risk" Girls
    Helping Girls “At-Risk”: The Structure of “Girls in the Game”
    “Doing Whatever We Want”: Reproductive Agency at GIG
    Negotiating Agency and Constraint in Everyday Social Interactions: The Role of Culture in School-Sanctioned Verus Hip-Hop Femininities
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Part IV. Microlevel Theories

    Chapter 13. Mundanity of Excellence: Tiger Woods and Excellence in Golf
    Earl Smith, PhD
    Tiger the Golfer
    Theory of Dominance in Sport
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 14. Making It Big: Visible Symbols of Success, Physical Appearance, and Sport Figures
    Bonnie Berry, PhD
    The Null Hypothesis and Methodology
    Observations of Sport, Fitness, and “Health” Magazine Images
    Interpretations: Some Features on Which to Focus
    Symbolic Interaction, Dramaturgy, and Image-Making
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    Chapter 15. Sport and Multiple Identities in Post-War Trinidad: The Case of McDonald Bailey
    Roy D. McCree, PhD
    Theoretical Considerations
    Athletic Representation and Multiple Identities: Trinidadian or British
    Suggested Research
    Additional Resources

    About the Author

    Earl Smith, PhD, is director of American ethnic studies and professor of sociology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has over 20 years of experience as an instructor and researcher of topics in sociology of sport, and he has gained recognition as a Rubin Distinguished Professor. He focuses on theintersection of sociological, psychological, and economic theories and empirical research in sport.


    In 2008, Smith was awarded the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Book Award. He has also served as president of NASSS. In 2008-2009, the department of anthropology and sociology at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, presented Smith with the Arnold A. Sio Distinguished Professor of Community and Diversity Award.


    A former competitive runner, Smith now walks to stay fit and enjoys bird watching and spending time outdoors. He resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.